I just got back from seeing Ridley Scott's "The Martian", which was based on my favorite recent science fiction novel of the same title, written by Andy Weir (I wrote about it in the books thread, if you are interested). The movie, I thought, was absolutely great. I loved it. I'd say that of all of the movies released this year that I've seen, this one is the best. Maybe I'd rate "Birdman" higher, but I THINK I saw that last year. It also has to rank well on my top 10 science fiction movies of all time (maybe in the top 3 or 5 -- I think I need some perspective and to revisit some of my old favorites again before I make that determination). Anyway, if you've seen any of the trailers for it, they pretty well summarize what the movie is about. This is not a film with lots of twists and surprises. Nor is it a typical mindless action blockbuster. But it is still an incredibly exciting (and smart) film about the triumph of teamwork, math. science, and engineering, as well as perseverance in the face of almost unthinkable circumstances. It's 141 minutes long, but it doesn't feel like it. And all that time is used economically to tell a great story -- so go to the bathroom BEFORE you go into the theater, because you won't want to miss a minute of it.. Certainly, they had to cut some portions of the book to fit it into that length. But it still remains faithful to the feel and spirit of the original novel. Also, the cast, especially Matt Damon as Mark Watney, the astronaut stranded on Mars. But really, every performance was quite good. You will not have to have read the book to enjoy the film. But still, it's a great book, so read it anyway. I'm not going to claim that one is better than the other. Both are really excellent, and that's all I need to say on that subject.